However, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt did join the three hosts during the celebration, where he mentioned it was his first time participating in the star-studded ceremony.
"This was my first time at the tree lighting," Holt said, smiling. "This is so cool. Usually I'm in my office and we watch it from there."
Holt also joined the hosts again at the end of the evening -- along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- to partake in the actually flipping on of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights.
While it wasn't explicitly stated that Holt was a last-minute fill-in for Lauer, his participation hadn't been mentioned by NBC in any promotional material for the live TV event. Holt's presence also fueled speculation that he might be one of the people NBC is looking at to replace Lauer in the coming weeks.